World Semi #1: Kings Lynn – 26th July 2008 Report

World Championship Semi#1 winners

World Championship Semi#1 winners

Paul Harrison won the first of the World Championship Semi-Finals after taking the lead from Stu Smith on the last bend. Defending World Champion Smith had led the race from the off, and had simply driven away from the rest of the pack, but over the last few laps he had slowed dramatically after a puncture in the all-important outside rear tyre.

Smith was the first away when the green dropped, with Paul Hines (259), Paul Harrison (2), and Mat Newson (16) slotting in behind. Hines put the bumper in on Harrison into the first bend, with Newson then doing the same to Hines. Craig Utley (484) was the first casualty; the 484 car was bundled into the fence and rolled onto its side before being clattered back onto its wheels by the passing pack. Harrison then twice put the bumper in on Smith before the waved yellows came out to remove Utley from the track.

As they lined up for the restart, the top eight read Smith, from Harrison, Hines, and Newson, followed by Peter Falding (33), Mark Taylor (490), Mark Woodhull (335), and Steve Cayzer (380). On the green, Timmy Aldridge made a flying start and went passed a load of cars on the inside down the back straight, but drove straight into a marker tyre, as Scott Davids (462) and Mark Helliwell (170) tangled and went into the fence. Davids restarted a lap down, and gave Taylor a big shot before Cayzer went in hard on both Davids and Taylor, which span Taylor out.

Hines stalked Harrison for a couple of laps before nudging the number 2 car wide and going past, leaving Newson to lean on Harrison’s back bumper. Up front, Smith found himself behind backmarkers Alridge and Helliwell, and fired both fencewards. Helliwell tucked in behind Harrison (2) and hit him wide, though he held it. As the race reached the halfway, Smith was about six lengths clear of Hines, who was a similar distance in front of Harrison and Newson.

However, they were closed up when the yellows came out again, this time for attention to Ed Neachell (321), who had crashed heavily into the turn three fence with Mick Rogers (244) quite a few laps previously. The top ten on track now read Smith still leading, from Hines, Harrison, Newson, Taylor, Cayzer, Murray Harrison (97), Davids (who was probably a lap down), and Woodhull. Harrison (97) landed a massive hit on Cayzer, which sent the 380 car into Taylor, who span out.

Up front, Smith had pulled away, while Hines and Harrison were bumper to bumper, but a few lengths clear of Newson, who had been slow on the restart. Just before the lap boards, Harrison made a move and hit Hines wide and went by.

Further back, Woodhull, Falding, and Craig Finnikin (55) were trading blows and places every lap. With two laps to go Newson went past Hines, but up front Smith was starting to slow with a deflating outside rear tyre. Smith had had what looked to be an unassailable lead, but Harrison closed in, and a big lunge on the last bend relegated Smith to second and took a surprise win. Hines made a similar move on Newson, but rode up onto the number 16 car’s nerf rail. The two cars hooked up, and went over the finish line that way, with Murray Harrison pushing them.

1st: 2 Paul Harrison
2nd: 1 Stu Smith
3rd: 16 Mat Newson
4th: 259 Paul Hines
5th: 97 Murray Harrison
6th: 33 Peter Falding
7th: 107 Lee Robinson
8th: 288 Simon Panton
9th: 55 Craig Finnikin
10th: 260 Dave Berresford

Carl Hesketh.

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